Wednesday, Jun. 19th, 2019

Introducing the World’s Most Advanced Aerial Firefighting Surveillance Tool

Bridger Aerospace has integrated technologies from Ascent Vision Technologies (AVT) and Latitude to introduce the world’s most advanced aerial firefighting surveillance system. To tackle the country’s most extreme fires, the Gen V system will be used by Bridger’s highly skilled and trained team of operators to better support wildfire management and relief missions.

The fully integrated system combines AVT’s revolutionary lightweight CM142 imaging payload; AVT’s Fire Mapper; and Latitude’s FVR-90 VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) unmanned aerial system. The CM142 optic delivers real-time aerial data, transferring high definition daylight and crisp long-wave infrared imagery directly to the remote ground station. The footage highlights hotspots, areas affected and areas at risk of damage. The Fire Mapper includes short-wave infrared, long-wave infrared and a 13-megapixel daylight sensor. Real-time fire mapping with live locations facilitates better decision making when responding to the fire.   

Latitude’s next generation VTOL provides greater flexibility in deployment, allowing take-off and landing to take place from any location, at any time. With an endurance of up to 15 hours, the system can perform for long durations to ensure the team collects the data required for the mission.

Using a fully integrated, user-friendly rover system, Bridger Aerospace will provide firefighters with remote access to live video with real-time overlays of telemetry and metadata. Operators can communicate to the aircraft using the primary datalink and a small portable handheld radio device. The system uses a MIMO (multi in multi out) data link, which extends the range from the ground station out to over 50nm.

The fully integrated system combines everything needed to support the US Government in tackling the country’s most dangerous fires, helping firefighters save lives and reducing damage. Bridger Aerospace is one of the two companies in the United States authorized to conduct BLOS (beyond line of site) flights in active fire zones. With over 13 years of experience in providing solutions for wildfire management, Bridger delivers revolutionary equipment and a skilled team of operators to tackle each firefighting mission.

CEO at Bridger Aerospace, Tim Sheehy, said

“We have developed a world leading aerial firefighting surveillance tool that will transform aerial data collection for fire management and relief missions in the United States. The system includes Latitude’s FVR-90 VTOL, which is fitted with AVT’s high-performance CM142 sensor and Fire Mapper to support the US government in managing the country’s major wildfires.

This system will have a huge impact on wildfire management by providing all the essential tools needed to help save lives. This revolutionary firefighting surveillance solution will be controlled by Bridger’s highly-trained team of UAS operators to provide a world-leading service to combat wildfires.”

Integrated Systems Manager, Weston Irr, said

“This marks the second year where Bridger Aerospace supports firefighting missions in the US using an unmanned aerial system. With our new Gen V fully integrated UAS system, we can provide firefighters with remote access to accurate, real-time imagery. This data will have a huge impact on the efficiency of their operation by facilitating fast and informed response to the fire.”

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Tuesday, Jun. 18th, 2019

Company that rented life saving bear spray named Authorized Concessioner in Yellowstone National Par

Bear Aware, LLC, has been awarded a 10 year term concession contract as the Authorized Concessioner for bear spray rentals in Yellowstone National Park. Bear Aware had been providing rentals in the park since 2015 under a Commercial Use Authorization.

In August, 2018, the father of a family of four from Washington state rented bear spray from Bear Aware, LLC and used the spray to save his 10 year old son’s life. The family was hiking along the Divide Trail, southeast of Old Faithful when a grizzly bear charged out of the vegetation toward them. The boy tried to run away, but the bear chased him and knocked him down. The father deployed the spray into the bear’s face at which time the bear recoiled visibly and ran off. The boy suffered minimal injuries.

In a letter to Bear Aware, the father, Eric, attributed his ability to react in time to the training he received: “The question I return to his how I was able to deploy the spray effectively within a matter of seconds, with no warning or time to think. This I attribute directly to Bear Aware, and the care they took not to just market a product, but to prepare people to act if necessary....  When the bear crashed from the brush, I was not just a person with a can of pepper spray – I was prepared.”

“We are very proud of the educational aspect of our program, and knowing Eric relied on our training to save his son’s life makes all our hard work over the years worthwhile.” said Founder, Sally Vering. “It’s a great honor and privilege to be awarded the concessions contract, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the NPS over the next decade. We’re also very excited to expand our service to other locations within Yellowstone National Park and beyond.”

Bear Aware, LLC rents UDAP Pepper Power® 9.2 oz. Magnum Bear Spray at $9.50/Day (24 hours), $18.75/2 Days (48 hours), $28.00/Week (3 to 7 days), $32.00/WeekPlus (8 to 14 days) and also sells it for $49.99  The kiosk is located on the plaza of the Canyon Village Visitor Center and is open daily from 8 AM to 5:30 PM. There are seven additional convenient drop-off locations throughout the park.  Visitors may learn more about bear spray, how to properly use it, and view videos at their website,
For more information contact Sally Vering, Founder, Bear Aware, LLC, (406)224-5367,

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FWP wardens seek information on pronghorn poaching north of Belgrade

Game wardens with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks are seeking information on a poaching case north of Belgrade. 

A pronghorn doe was shot sometime in the evening on Saturday, June 15, near Theisen Road, about 10 miles north of Belgrade. The poaching was reported to FWP on June 16.  

Those who may have information on this incident are asked to call Montana’s toll-free hotline for reporting poaching, 1-800-TIP-MONT (847-6668).

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Friday, Jun. 14th, 2019

Join the Fun at Montana Outdoor Science School’s 21st Annual Watershed Festival & Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 22nd

Don’t miss Montana Outdoor Science School’s Watershed Festival & Fishing Derby on June 22nd at the Bozeman Fish Technology Center! A free, fun-filled event for people of all ages, the festival brings together local non-profit organizations, and other exhibitors to promote an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of Montana’s beautiful watersheds through dynamic, hands-on activities and science-based educational experiences. The event runs from 9am to 3pm and is free to the public.

The Fishing Derby allows children up to age 12 to catch and keep two fish. The staff of the Fish Technology Center will clean the fish and put them in a bag of ice. Face-painting, live raptors, stream tables, and the infamous rubber duck races will keep the whole family busy throughout the event. Food will be available for purchase. There is a free shuttle from the Fairgrounds parking lot on Oak St. starting at 8:45 Saturday morning.

“We’re fortunate to partner with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to provide this event as a kick-off to summer each year and are always grateful to Imerys Talc who sponsor our event unfailingly year after year. Our staff and volunteers are excited about this year’s festival and can’t wait to share it with the community. What better way to celebrate our Montana watersheds than by learning more about them?”

Montana Outdoor Science School is a 501(c)3 dedicated to promoting awareness, understanding and appreciation of science and nature through quality educational experiences. For more information, please visit us online at

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Anaconda to be Designated as Continental Divide Trail Gateway Community

ANACONDA, Mt. (June 13, 2019) – While Anaconda has been known for decades as the home of The Stack, the town has recently gained fame for something else entirely – the incredible outdoor recreation potential just waiting to be discovered by visitors and locals alike. In the latest development in the town’s burgeoning reputation as a hub for those looking to get outside, Anaconda is set to become a Continental Divide Trail (CDT) Gateway Community. On Saturday, June 29th, in Washoe Park, representatives from Anaconda-Deer Lodge County and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) will join to officially designate Anaconda as part of the growing network of towns and counties that are renowned for welcoming those traveling on the 3,100-mile National Scenic Trail.

“We are thrilled to welcome Anaconda as an official CDT Gateway Community,” said Teresa Martinez, Executive Director of the CDTC. “This designation helps us celebrate the important connections between those who travel the CDT, and the communities that live along the Trail. Anaconda is such a welcoming town, and a great place to stage an exploration of the rugged Anaconda-Pintlers – it’s a perfect fit for our grassroots movement to complete, promote and protect the CDT.”

Launched in 2013 by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, the CDT Gateway Community program serves to help communities benefit from their proximity to the CDT. Gateway Communities are recognized for their part in promoting awareness and stewardship of the CDT and creating a welcoming environment for people traveling along the Trail. Since 2016, volunteers from the Anaconda Trail Society have run an Adventure Camp in Washoe Park to welcome long-distance hikers and cyclists to town with free bike loans, WiFi, and other resources.

“People in Anaconda truly embrace outdoor activity,” said Robin McKernan, Chair of the Anaconda Trail Society. “We love to hike, ski, and camp, and we are excited to be sharing our community and its gorgeous surroundings with those traveling through Anaconda. CDT Gateway Community designation will bolster our local economy by reinforcing the identity of Anaconda as a major stop along the Trail. Whether people are hiking the entire 3,100 miles or just looking for a beautiful place to spend a weekend with their families, we know that folks using the CDT will feel welcome in Anaconda.

To make the designation official, members of the Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Commission and Ms. Martinez will co-sign a proclamation in Washoe Park at the Anaconda Trail Society Adventure Camp at 2 PM on Saturday, June 29. The ceremony will be followed by a celebration for the community of Anaconda where members of the public can learn more about the CDT and enjoy an afternoon in the park. The public is encouraged to attend.

Anaconda residents are eager to welcome travelers, and the town boasts many trail-friendly amenities in its walkable downtown business district filled with restaurants, coffee shops, a post office, and the Hearst Free Library. Within Anaconda’s backyard lies the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness–and the classic section of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) that runs through it. The 158,656-acre wilderness, tucked in the southwestern corner of the state, is named for the Anaconda Range. About 65 miles of the CDT traverses the backbone of the wilderness, hewing close to the Continental Divide of the Americas, which separates the waters flowing to the Atlantic and the Pacific.

About the Continental Divide Trail
The CDT is one of the world’s premiere long-distance trails, stretching 3,100 miles from Mexico to Canada along the Continental Divide. Designated by Congress in 1978, the CDT is the highest, most challenging and most remote of the 11 National Scenic Trails. It provides recreational opportunities ranging from hiking to horseback riding to hunting for thousands of visitors each year. While 95% of the CDT is located on public land, approximately 150 miles are still in need of protection.

About the Continental Divide Trail Coalition
The CDTC was founded in 2012 by volunteers and recreationists hoping to provide a unified voice for the Trail. Working hand-in-hand with the U.S. Forest Service and other federal land management agencies, the CDTC is a non-profit partner supporting stewardship of the CDT. The mission of the CDTC is to complete, promote and protect the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, a world-class national resource. For more information, please visit

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Wednesday, Jun. 12th, 2019

Local Non-Profit for Assault and Abuse Survivors Launches Podcast

Becoming HER was featured on iTunes New and Noteworthy and Features the Voices of 7 Bozeman Survivors

We Are HER — Becoming HER, a podcast for survivors of abuse or assault, features the stories of seven Bozeman survivors, which was launched by local nonprofit We Are HER.

Becoming HER is hosted by HAVEN’s outreach coordinator Emily Kempe. Each week, she has a conversation with a different survivor. Together, they discuss each survivor’s personal story, including their path toward healing, and educate their audience on intimate partner violence. The podcast gives an inside perspective on what domestic violence really looks like in Bozeman.

The podcast was also featured on iTunes “New and Noteworthy” section, which has given it an international audience.

“The podcast is important not only because it provides a platform for survivors to share their story, but also because of the medium itself,” said Kempe. “Our podcast format allows survivors to have more control over how they tell their story, which increases safety. I truly believe in Becoming HER, and I hope that it provides support to survivors and educated communities all over the world.”

You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, and other popular podcasting platforms.
About We Are HER
We Are HER is a local nonprofit that serves survivors worldwide to be Healed, Empowered, and Restored through story sharing, education, and community building.

HER was started in 2016 by Bozeman resident Stevie Croisant. For more information, please email Stevie at or contact our host Emily at

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Tuesday, Jun. 11th, 2019

MSU to offer non-credit course on Robert Pirsig and his book ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’

Montana State University’s Continuing, Professional and Lifelong Learning program will offer a non-credit summer course on former MSU professor Robert Pirsig and his book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”

The course will be taught by visiting scholar Peter B. Olson from Mississippi State University and will meet from 3 to 6 p.m. on July 9, 16 and 23. It is open to the public.

Students will explore how Pirsig’s philosophies can help people find balance in an increasingly fast-paced world. The course aims to provide a context where students can reflect on their own cultural concerns and reconsider ways to find a more harmonious relationship to their world.

Students will also have the opportunity to learn more about Pirsig and his literary contributions by visiting MSU’s Special Collections and Archive and examine the Robert Pirsig collection. Pirsig taught at MSU in the late 1950s. The author returned to Bozeman later in his life, where his hikes in the Gallatin range influenced his novel’s holistic view of nature that he associates with a Zen perspective. 

Registration for the course costs $169. For more information or to enroll, visit and click on Personal Enrichment or call 406-994-6550.

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Monday, Jun. 10th, 2019

Pennington Bridge FAS closes due to migrating river channel

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will be permanently closing the Pennington Bridge Fishing Access Site on the Big Hole River, four miles south of Twin Bridges. The closure will take effect June 17. 

The closure has become necessary due to the river channel’s migration and the subsequent threat of latrine contents contaminating the river. The site was leased from a local landowner, but due to these evolving river conditions, the lease has been terminated, and the latrine will be removed. 

As an alternative, Big Hole River floaters can use the public boat ramp located on river left, immediately upstream of the Pennington Bridge FAS, under the bridge. 

For more information, please call 406-994-6931.

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Friday, Jun. 7th, 2019

3 Things to Consider Before Starting a Family in Montana

If you’ve lived in Big Sky Country for awhile, you know that there are plenty of great reasons to love the state. It has tons of wonderful areas to explore nature, skiing and snowboarding are fantastic and the craft beer scene is huge.

You may also be aware of some of its challenges, like the lack of housing, frigid winters and low-population density. But all places have their advantages and disadvantages.

If you’re thinking about adding another member to your Montana family, you should look below first to make sure you have all of your bases covered before you start trying to add a baby to your family.

Are You Ready to Become Parents?

Even if you might jump at the question and answer “yes!”, both you and your partner should examine if you’re both ready.

There are a lot of factors to determining if you’re ready for the next step. Where are you in your relationship? Are you married, engaged or neither? Does it matter to you to be married before having children?

Are both of you 100% on board with wanting to have a kid? It can’t be a one-way ride, with one of you managing the GPS and driving around while the other takes a nap in the backseat. It has to be a joint decision and joint effort from here on out.

It’s also wise to start thinking if you’re mature enough to take this next step. In all honesty, no one is ever 100% ready to be parents. Sure, you may have taken care of kids before but being a parent is a huge step. Do you feel like you’re up for it?

Once the child comes, your schedule is going to change dramatically. Those happy hour outings with your coworkers might get shelved. Going out on a date will mean calling a babysitter. Your priorities will become a distant second place to that of the child.

Are You Financially Ready?

When it comes to finances, are you prepared to welcome a new member into your family financially? While Hollywood and books may make it seem like having a child is just a regular thing that happens and everyone is OK with whatever results, the truth is there is a lot of preparation work that comes into play before.

If the mother is going to have to take time off to stay with the baby, can you both survive on one salary? Will the father need to put in extra work hours, even if it means being away from the family? Be sure and think about all this well in advance.

You’ll also have to start thinking about different savings account, college funds, etc. Talk with a financial professional to get the full scoop and big picture.

Is Bozeman a Good Place For Families?

Even if you’ve been a Bozeman resident for awhile, you may never have thought about this question.

After going through some doom and gloom, it’s time to look on the bright side. The short answer is yes, Bozeman is a fantastic place for families. The city is regularly filled with different events and activities for families.

As you probably already know, with Bozeman’s small population, the city truly brings out a small town feel and you can become quite involved in your community and get to know tons of people in the area. They often say it takes a village to raise a child and you’ve got a village around you at all times.

The city is also home to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, a fantastic hospital with plenty of amenities to make the parents-to-be feel welcome and at home.

Thinking way far in advance, Montana State University, the city’s largest employer, routinely ranks around the Top 100 in public universities and the city encourages entrepreneurship and has a growing tech scene as well.

Zooming out a bit, you will also be comforted to know that the state of Montana as a whole performs very well in the educational sphere. The high school graduation rate beats out the national average and students within the state test out better in math as well. If you’re in Montana, you can rest assured knowing you’re in a great place with a great future ahead of you and your family.

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Thursday, Jun. 6th, 2019

The Salvation Army, Family Promise and Love INC host “Tools for School” back to school drive

Nonprofits team up to help children go back to school
The Salvation Army, Family Promise and Love INC host “Tools for School” back to school drive
BOZEMAN, MT (June 6, 2019) – More than 300 children in Gallatin County will receive back to school support through the “Tools for School” campaign, a partnership between The Salvation Army, Family Promise and Love INC.
The campaign collects school supplies for children and runs from June 10 – July 26. Barrels will be at local churches, Staples and Office Depot. Additionally, 50 children will benefit from a Back to School Shopping Spree at Walmart to get outfitted in new school clothes.
School supplies needed include: backpacks, crayons, markers, colored pencils, #2 pencils, erasers, highlighters, scissors, glue, 2” binders, notebooks, rulers and other standard school supplies. To donate, please call The Salvation Army at 406-586-5813 or Love INC at 406-587-3008.
Families will receive donated items at a community event on Saturday, August 10.
What:   “Tools for School” Back to School Event
                Hot dogs, chips, drinks, popcorn, games
When:   Saturday, August 10
Where: The Salvation Army Bozeman
                32 S. Rouse Avenue, Bozeman, MT 59715
Families looking to register for supplies can call Love INC after June 7 at 406-587-3008. Children in grade K-12 are eligible to receive a backpack and school supplies.
“When kids go to school with everything they need, they are more confident and perform better,” says Lieutenant Jenn Larson, Administrator for The Salvation Army in Bozeman. “We’re excited to provide this opportunity for children of Gallatin County, so we can eliminate some of the barriers that keep kids from thriving.”

For more information about The Salvation Army, please visit

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